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Before Supreme Court nominees are allowed to take their place on the High Court, they must face a moment of democratic reckoning by appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Despite the potential this holds for public input into the direction of legal change, the hearings are routinely derided as nothing but empty rituals and political grandstanding.
In this book, Paul M. Collins and Lori A. Ringhand present a contrarian view that uses both empirical data and stories culled from more than seventy years of transcripts to demonstrate that the hearings are a democratic forum for the discussion and ratification of constitutional change. As such, they are one of the ways in which 'We the People' take ownership of the Constitution by examining the core constitutional values of those permitted to interpret it on our behalf.